Does regular AF mean you ovulate every month?

(21 Posts)
RedRobin1 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:10:33

This has been bugging me since I was told by fertility consultant that my ultrasound scan confirms mild case of polycystic ovaries and that I have nothing to worry about if I get regular periods.

My periods are like clockwork, I have none of the PCOS symptoms (no excess hair, no acne, no weight gain) , LH / FSH tests came back normal.

I get a positive OPK only once a month (unlike PCOS where you may get +ve OPKs all the time due to LH/FSH imbalance).

My Luteal Phase for the last 9 cycles has been a regular 16 day LP.

I haven't had the 21 day bloods to confirm ovulation. But I am going out of my mind wondering if I have ovulated this month as I haven't got a dark positive OPK, just a faint positive one. And also want to confirm that having my periods regularly mean I must ovulate every month.

Even women who have completely regular periods can have the occasional anovulatory cycle. I would not automatically assume you are ovulating every month and would only look at the blood tests for actual clarification rather than relying on OPKs.

Ideally you should be scanned on a regular basis to see what is happening with regards to ovulation, they can check to see if any egg is leaving an ovary.

Women with polycystic ovaries can ovulate sponataneously, albeit occasionally like those with the full blown syndrome. There is not much of a line between PCO and PCOS - the commonality between the two is the cystic follicles on the ovary. Also the polycystic ovary can appear larger than "normal (walnut) size.

I would try and stay within the correct weight ranges for your height as any excess pounds can exacerbate symptoms.

EuroShagmore Mon 14-Jan-13 11:22:51

RedRobin you seem similar to me. I was diagnosed with PCOS years ago, but seem to have the symptoms largely under control now. I also only get a positive OPK once a month and my LH/FSH test was fine. I've had the day 21 test and many scans - all showing I had oved (or was just about to in the case of the scans that took place in the run up to ov).

It's definitely worth getting a day 21 yest done if you have been trying for a while to give you peace of mind, but I reckon it will be fine.

RedRobin1 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:29:06

Thanks attila DH and I are giving ourselves until April till we get put on Clomid where they will monitor and scan frequently every cycle.

But until then I just don't for sure if I am ovulating every month or not. My cycles are 30/32 days and AF has arrived bang on time every month. If I wasn't getting regular AF I would have thought I wasn't ovulating. But like you say there's no way of knowing for sure without the blood tests.

I have cysts on my ovaries, but other than that the consultant told me not to worry about ovulation as my periods are regular. But part of me now thinks maybe i am not ovulating which is why we haven't conceived yet.

Thinking of seeing the GP and asking for the 21 day blood test. They have done CD3 but not the 21 day one.

Soph80 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:29:32

Don't know much about PCOS but my fertility doc said its possible I don't ovulate every month (even though previous blood tests have confirmed I have). I'm now on my first course of clomid x

moggle Mon 14-Jan-13 11:38:56

Chances are, if your cycle is pretty regular and you do get positive OPKs most of the time, you are ovulating. But of course there can be exceptions. I'm surprised you haven't had day 21 blood test if you're already seeing a fertility consultant- it's the first thing our GP arranged (along with DH sperm analysis) when we came to him after a year of TTC.

RedRobin1 Mon 14-Jan-13 11:55:49

moggle DH and I have pretty much established that our GPs are useless when it comes to fertility.

I didn't think much about it at the time, as my initial ultrasound scan confirmed no PCO, the second and third u/s confirmed mild PCO so thats when I started worrying.

I have just rang the GP to book a day 21 blood test. I am on CD15 today so hopefully not to late to get one done this month.

Sprite21 Mon 14-Jan-13 13:07:20

Can I ask what a 21 day test is? Does it detect whether you've ovulated? I have PCOS as well. My cycles were really erratic pre-baby but now I've stopped breastfeeding they seem normal, though I haven't properly been timing them. Like you I would be interested to know if I'm ovulating.

Soph80 Mon 14-Jan-13 13:39:15

moggle - my fertility doc said there is a blood test test to check for PCO but can't remember which it is now.

21 day test checks for ovulation Sprite21. Can't hurt to ask for it x

EuroShagmore Mon 14-Jan-13 14:10:00

The blood test for PCOS is the day 2-5 FSH/LH test.

moggle Mon 14-Jan-13 14:19:27

sprite21 probably easier to use the ovulation predictor sticks to start with, unless you've already tried them with no luck.
My GP said that reg periods plus positive OPKs (once a month) as I have are basically completely predictive of ovulation but he still sent me for a blood test to be 100% sure. We had it done before Xmas but got our appointment to get the results a week tomorrow (drums fingers...). I'm convinced both tests are going to be fine and we'll (probably rightly) be told to go away and try some more for another x months.
Sorry to those whose GP's aren't as helpful :-(

Sprite

If you have PCOS it is actually adviseable not to use OPKs at all as these can give misleading results in those particular circumstances. These kits measure LH: as many PCOSers have an excess of LH to start with, the kit is actually recording that excess level. Also such kits assume that there is only one rise in LH every month and that such a rise is followed by ovulation - not true.

RedRobin1 Mon 14-Jan-13 14:29:38

I have an appt with my GP tomorrow. Our experiences with them haven't been great. The day DH got his SA back our GP was sat there with google open! Anyway we discussed the SA with our fertility specialist who was lovely and very nice and helpful.

Fx for your results moggle will you come back to share what the tests said?

moggle Mon 14-Jan-13 15:22:42

Will try to remember! I go through phases with this board as I find a high correlation between the amount of time spent reading threads and general sadness / obsession about TTC. smile
My mum and dad took 6 years to conceive me (their first child) so I am prepared for the long haul (though of course there are more interventions available now). It is nice to be able to talk to someone in real life about it though... Almost reduced mum to tears last time we chatted about it, she was remembering walking out of work (she was a teacher!) and getting the bus in tears to Dad's office, one month when her period arrived :-(
Going OT now, sorry!!

Sprite21 Tue 15-Jan-13 19:28:03

Thank you for the advice.I know you're OT now but have to agree that going on these boards has been both helpful and conducive to further anxiety and obsessiveness. I have been scrolling around and thinking OMG, I'm not taking folic acid, still drinking the odd glass of wine, stress levels in life generally are super high,etc.
Anyways, best of luck.

moggle Tue 22-Jan-13 11:37:16

Just wanted to update as I said I would- sorry to bring back an old thread!
Went for our appointment this morning with the GP, as expected my blood test showed a good progesterone rise and all other hormones fine, so GP is happy I'm ovulating. DH's sample also came back fine.
I was expecting to be told to try another 6 months (and tbh would've been fine with that), but GP has referred us (well, me) to a gynaecologist for further investigation. So that's good, another couple of months of trying while the referral gets sorted out and then some more investigations.

Slightly awkwardly the ONE person we know in our area (an acquaitance from uni halls with lots of mutual friends) just happened to be in the surgery waiting room with her little girl when we got there.... Kind of obvious what we're there for I think when you both turn up to an appointment but ah well!

RedRobin1 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:37:48

I just wanted to post an update.

I just got my results over the phone for my Day 22 progesterone test (couldn't make day 21).

My progesterone level was 38.6 - does that mean I have ovulated?

also on day 22, I was 5 dpo so not sure if that makes a difference as I ovulated later than expected.

moggle Thu 24-Jan-13 18:28:44

Sorry, I don't know anything about the numbers but bumping for someone who does! I would guess that a couple of days wouldn't make a huge difference but if you number was slightly low that could explain it. I was kind of glad that we weren't told any numbers for any of our tests as its just another thing for me to obsess over... anyway AF arrived this afternoon so onto cycle 15.

Bearface Thu 24-Jan-13 19:55:36

Hi RedRobin

I went for the same 21 day test and I was told by GP that it needs to be at least 38 for ovulation to occur. My first one was 2!!!! So I had an anovulatory cycle on my first set of tests. My CD 2/3 test was also out, but I wasn't told the numbers for that one. I had the redone this month and all is fine. Hope that answers your question - I guesS it means you ovulated. smile Did they not tell you whether it was 'normal' or not? With mine they said, 'Your results are normal, no further investigation required at this stage.' I was told the numbers when my first results came back as low. Hope this helps.

RedRobin1 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:17:47

I am seeing the GP on Monday to discuss the result. I got the prog level numbers from the receptionist over the phone.

I did google and anything over 30 is good and confirms ovulation smile so I'm very relieved. Hoping it works for us this month.

Sorry about AF arriving moggle ttc is really difficult and cruel sometimes. Hope cycle 15 is your lucky one.

Hello. Also TTC. Can I ask what the CD2 test actually tests for?

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